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To Search for God is to Insult God

“To search for God is to insult God.” This implies that God is always present and any search for him is a refusal of this fact. A surgeon friend of mine likes to say, “Don’t fix what isn’t broken.” It is only an extension of that to say, “Don’t search for that which is already at hand.” But we are westerners and have to search in order to learn that there is no search. (Location 594)

This always struck me as a parochial type argument. If God is in everything, is he not included in the everything that makes everything everything? Doing so would imply that someone had to design the designer, leading to a "turtles all the way down type argument", which is hardly satisfying or provable.

In fact, turtles all the way down is terrifying to imagine. I once had a fever dream where I was dealing with the concept of recursion, and I couldn't escape. I was trapped in a dead end loop, and each iteration crushed me more and more under the weight of the recursion.

It felt like this:

Anyway, back to the topic at hand of searching for God. Perhaps these ideas can help:

Fate / Zero 13 — Ryuunosuke’s Theology
Damn. That was awesome. What a way to go out with a bang! I think the main thing that made this episode so great was that there was hardly any Saber and Irisviel. It was all Caster and Ryuunosuke, …
There is, my friend, only a knowledge—that is everywhere, that is Atman, that is in me and you and in every creature, and I am beginning to believe that this knowledge has no worse enemy than the man of knowledge, than learning.” (Location 176)

Looking directly at the sun is a sure way to go blind

You Choose a Philosophy or One Will Be Chosen for You

In addition to the relaxation responses induced by supportive community, faith in a higher power may also induce positive emotions, which counteract stress and contribute to the state of physiological rest necessary for the body to repair itself. People with faith in a higher power are also likely to experience better health because they are better able to find meaning in the face of loss or trauma. One study showed that religious parents who lost babies to sudden infant death syndrome were better able to cope 18 months later than nonreligious parents.20 Religious people are also more apt to forgive, which alleviates negative emotions such as anger and resentment that trigger the stress response. (Location 1713)

You can choose a religion (philosophy) or one will be chosen for you

The philosophers associated with these schools were unapologetic about their interest in philosophies of life. According to Epicurus, for example, “Vain is the word of a philosopher which does not heal any suffering of man. For just as there is no profit in medicine if it does not expel the diseases of the body, so there is no profit in philosophy either, if it does not expel the suffering of the mind.” (Location 105)
But even though schools of philosophy are a thing of the past, people are in as much need of a philosophy of life as they ever were. The question is, Where can they go to obtain one? If they go to the philosophy department of the local university, they will, as I have explained, probably be disappointed. What if they instead turn to their local church? Their pastor might tell them what they must do to be a good person, that is, what they must do to be morally upstanding. They might be instructed, for example, not to steal or tell lies or (in some religions) have an abortion. Their pastor will also probably explain what they must do to have a good afterlife: They should come to services regularly and pray and (in some religions) tithe. But their pastor will probably have relatively little to say on what they must do to have a good life. Indeed, most religions, after telling adherents what they must do to be morally upstanding and get into heaven, leave it to them to determine what things in life are and aren’t worth pursuing. These religions see nothing wrong with an adherent working hard so he can afford a huge mansion and an expensive sports car, as long as he doesn’t break any laws doing so; nor do they see anything wrong with the adherent forsaking the mansion for a hut and forsaking the car for a bicycle. And if religions do offer adherents advice on what things in life are and aren’t worth pursuing, they tend to offer the advice in such a low-key manner that adherents might regard it as a suggestion rather than a directive about how to live and might therefore ignore the advice. This, one imagines, is why the adherents of the various religions, despite the differences in their religious beliefs, end up with the same impromptu philosophy of life, namely, a form of enlightened hedonism. Thus, although Lutherans, Baptists, Jews, Mormons, and Catholics hold different religious views, they are remarkably alike when encountered outside of church or synagogue. They hold similar jobs and have similar career ambitions. They live in similar homes, furnished in a similar manner. And they lust to the same degree for whatever consumer products are currently in vogue. (Location 300)
It may seem paradoxical, but having a coherent philosophy of life, whether it be Stoicism or some other philosophy, can make us more accepting of death. Someone with a coherent philosophy of life will know what in life is worth attaining, and because this person has spent time trying to attain the thing in life he believed to be worth attaining, he has probably attained it, to the extent that it was possible for him to do so. Consequently, when it comes time for him to die, he will not feel cheated. To the contrary, he will, in the words of Musonius, “be set free from the fear of death.”2 (Location 2342)


Billionaire Bootlicking

There is a lot of bootlicking of billionaires on Twitter, but to be fair Elon Musk is a complex man and his accomplishments are awe-inspiring.

A few years too late, my good friend and mentor, Andrew, explained to me something he calls The Billionaire Rule, which is: Any time a billionaire wants to work with you, never say, “No.” (Location 1326)
Don’t be pressured into making any decisions or signing any documents you’re unsure about. Rushing into a poor decision or agreement can be catastrophic, whereas missing an opportunity will not be. (Location 1428)

These two ideas are in direct conflict lmao, as well as quite a bit of billionaire bootlicking,[1] assuming that a billionaire is a good person because they are a billionaire?

There is a ton of Elon bootlicking on Twitter, we need more JCR Lickidier…licking, or Claude Shannon bootlicking. That said, Elon is a complex man (who has passed his likability limit[2]) and there is no doubt that this Starlink photo is awe inspiring.

  1. I think I got this term from Hasan Piker talking about Elon stans

  2. 202212210203